'Nashville' Kills Off One of Its Own — But There's a Big Twist

Nashville Season 2 Cast Art - H 2013

Nashville Season 2 Cast Art - H 2013

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Wednesday's episode of Nashville, "Please Help Me I'm Fallin'."]

Nashville's promos teasing a "fatal" ending weren't kidding. However, the victim was hardly whom viewers were expecting.

After multiple commercials for Wednesday's hour teased the seemingly unlikely demise of one of the show's lead characters, Juliette (Hayden Panettiere), it was actually her manager, Jeff Fordham (Oliver Hudson), who met his demise in a shocking twist ending.

After a surprisingly triumphant episode that saw Jeff convince Luke (Will Chase) to make him the CEO of his lifestyle brand, and also saw Jeff ask Layla (Aubrey Peeples) to move in with him, Jeff fell off the side of a building in the midst of trying to prevent Juliette from doing just that. Juliette had been standing on the edge of the building's roof, high and drunk, contemplating suicide after Avery (Jonathan Jackson) filed for divorce.

Although the twist was surprising onscreen, it was slightly less of a shock offscreen. Hudson first was brought on in season two as a sleazy and ruthless record executive who served as a nemesis for Connie Britton's character, Rayna Jaymes.

"If people are hating you, you're doing your job," Hudson told The Hollywood Reporter last spring. "He's a despicable character. He's supposed to be hated."

Hudson was promoted to series regular last season. However, he was switched back to recurring status after Hudson took a series-regular role on another network series, Fox's freshman comedy-horror Scream Queens. The official Twitter handle for his new show made light of Jeff's tragic TV death Wednesday night.

This is just the latest death this season for the country-music drama, which killed off Beverly, Deacon's sister and Scarlett's mother, earlier on. Eric Close, who also was formerly a series regular, did not return full-time when his character, Teddy, went to prison at the end of season three.

Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC. What did you think of Wednesday's episode? Will you miss Jeff?